Agriculture, Beverages & Food

The state of California is suing nine top food manufacturers, including Burger King, Heinz and McDonald's, over their reluctance to issue warnings that some of their snacks could contain the potentially cancer-causing chemical acrylamide. Acrylamide was found to be linked to cancer in 2002. Then, the Swedish Food Administration reported high levels of it in carbohydrate-rich foods, such as french fries and potato chips, cooked at high temperatures. Studies indicated the chemical caused cancer in rats.
While officials from corporations like Monsanto mingle with Indian government officials and agribusiness CEO's, India's farmers will be joined by farmers from around the world, environmentalists and opponents of the genetic engineering of food at a series of events called: Global People's Seed 2000 (GPS 2000).
Uruguay has defeated Philip Morris, the global tobacco giant, in a major international lawsuit over the country's tough anti-smoking regulations. The Swiss-based company sued Uruguay at the World Bank's International Center for Settlement of Investment Dispute under the terms of a 1991 bilateral investment treaty between Uruguay and Switzerland.
Asian community leaders -- mindful of ''World No Tobacco Day'' on May 31 -- say their battle to reduce high smoking rates among Asian Americans is making inroads but can't succeed as long as cigarette advertisers keep targeting their neighborhoods.
Methyl bromide affects human health both directly and indirectly. It is a complete biocide that kills most living organisms in soil, agricultural products and in buildings where it is applied. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency classifies methyl bromide as a Category I acute toxin -- EPA's most deadly category of substances.
CANBERRA- Ahead of its mid-April annual general meeting, British American Tobacco (BAT) is facing increasing pressure from human rights groups in Asia and elsewhere to withdraw from a joint-venture partnership with the Burmese military regime.
Some 300 members of Brazil's Landless Peasants' Movement (MST) took over an estate belonging to an associate of the country's president in the state of Sao Paulo Monday, organization spokesmen said.
Eight years after they sued Archer Daniels Midland (ADM), Cargill and Nestlé for allegedly forcing them to work as child labor on a Côte d'Ivoire cocoa plantation, three young men from Mali have won a small victory - the ability to be heard in a California court.
The European Union is trying to regain the public's confidence in genetically modified organisms (GMOs) by strengthening the laws that govern their release onto the market.
When United States negotiators fly into Thailand to thrash out a bilateral free trade deal next week, they will be greeted with jeers rather than this country's famed smile of welcome.